Exploring the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in recruitment and retention of underrepresented multicultural students at a public midwestern university
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Universities and colleges are using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in new capacities in higher education beyond geography courses. GIS can provide a visual representation of demographic distributions and trends of student enrollment patterns that may not be observed in typical data sheet analysis. GIS has the ability to enhance the visual perception of data by mapping layers of data information and its relationship to location. GIS has the potential to assimilate patterns related to hot or cold spots of student retention and recruitment. This research examines how (GIS) can help enhance the recruitment and retention of underrepresented multicultural (URM) students (African Americans, n=1082; Latino(a), n=689; Native Americans, n=136; and Southeast Asians, n=439) enrolled in the Midwestern university (2011-2013) by identifying hot and cold spots related to locations at enrollment. Results from ArcGIS showed a high density of students enrolled from the Southeastern quadrant of the state. Distance from home, financial cost, and the business school at the university were the main factors students identified as contributing to their decision to apply. Results from ArcGIS maps also suggest potential recruitment areas for URM students could focus on the North area of Illinois and North and North central Wisconsin. Implications for the use of GIS tools in identifying recruitment patterns, and recommendations for future program development are also discussed.
Geographic information systems
Minority college students--Recruiting
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